The Rim Country's New Version Of 'Auld Lang Syne'

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At midnight on New Year's Eve, the vast majority of the English-speaking world will break into a mumbled, mangled chorus of "Auld Lang Syne."

Mumbled and mangled because so few of us actually know the words fewer even than know the lyrics to the "Star Spangled Banner." Yet sing it we will, just because we always have and because everybody else does.

The reason the lyrics are so forgettable is that they were written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in a foreign language or several foreign languages to be exact. The language of "Auld Lang Syne" is known as "lalands" or "lowlands," for the border region of Scotland where it originated.

It is actually a mix of Gaelic, English, French, Flemish and Norwegian. Recognizing the beauty of this evolving language, Burns used it when he revamped the lyrics to the ancient song in 1788.

What is kind of neat about this is that it is the language of the common people of Scotland the language of the villages, the farms and the mills. What is not so neat is that since it is not even remotely close to the language we speak today, most of us don't have a clue what we're singing.

That's too bad, because the thought behind the song that good times and old friendships should not be forgotten makes it the perfect vehicle for ushering in a new year. So as a public service, the Roundup presents Rim country revelers with two options.

First, in case you are determined to stick with the old rendition, here are the original lyrics to "Auld Lang Syne" as revised by Robert Burns:

AULD LANG SYNE

(Chorus:)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne!

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!

And surely I'll be mine!

And we'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

(Repeat chorus)

We twa hae run about the braes,

and pou'd the gowans fine;

But we've wander'd mony a weary fit

Sin' auld lang syne.

(Repeat chorus)

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,

Frae morning sun till dine;

But seas between us braid hae roar'd

Sin' auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere!

and gie's a hand o' thine!

And we'll tak' a right gude-willie waught,

For auld lang syne.

We don't know about you, but it's been a long time since we've had the desire, much less the ability, to "tak' a right gude-willie waught," so we believe the old lyrics have just about outworn their usefulness. We have therefore created a brand new updated version of the song specifically customized to life and times in the Rim country.

Our intent is to return "Auld Lang Syne," which literally translated means "Old Long Since," to its origins as a song of the people, by the people and for the people so it once again delivers the message it was meant to.

Here, then, is what we hope will become a glorious new Rim country tradition. Pass out copies at your party or keep a copy close by if you are staying home. At the stroke of midnight throw open the windows and we'll raise our collective voices in a rousing tribute to the quirks and foibles of life in the Rim country:

OLD LONG RIM

(Chorus:)

From down in Payson, up to Pine,

And all around the Rim,

Let's note the things that best define

And give our life its vim.

We'll first begin with what we're not,

That sweatbox down the "line:"

The Valley of the VERY HOT,

So much fun to malign.

(Repeat chorus)

Up here the wind blows off the Rim

While javelinas play.

The air is pure, with birds on limbs,

Another perfect day.

(Repeat chorus)

That's not to say we don't have flaws:

Much water we have not,

Developers they say hold sway,

The jobs we have pay squat.

(Repeat chorus)

But up here in the land of Haught,

We have too much to whine,

And never more we'll "willie waught"

For auld lang syne.

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